Donald Trump Jr. has caused uproar on social media by comparing Syrian refugees to Skittles candy.
Trying to suggest the US should not accept any refugees, Donald Trump’s eldest son asked the question: “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?”
“That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”
Donald Trump Jr. added: “This image says it all. Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first.”
The food analogy has been used before to imply that, if a few people in a group are bad, it would be dangerous to take a single one in.
The language in Donald Jr.’s tweet was used in a post by conservative radio host Joe Walsh in August.
Following tweet by the Republican presidential candidate’s son, the company that owns Skittles, Wrigley, stepped in.
Denise Young, vice-president of corporate affairs for Wrigley America, said: “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people.
“We don’t feel it is an appropriate analogy.
“We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
There has been no reaction from the campaigns of the main presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Angered by Donald Trump Jr.’s statement, however, some people posted images of child refugees on their Twitter feeds.
Many of the posts both mocked the comparison and tried to highlight the plight of Syrians caught up in their country’s civil war.
In a tongue-in-cheek article, Washington Post journalist Philip Bump did some calculations around Donald Trump Jr.’s statement, using data showing that the annual chance that an American would be murdered by a foreign-born terrorist was 1 in 3,609,709.
Based on Philip Bump’s sums, it would take about one and a half Olympic swimming pools of Skittles in order to find three killers.
Some people on Twitter used the meme to reflect on their feelings about the 2016 presidential race.
However, many supporters of Donald Trump and right wing commentators welcomed his son’s message and hit out at the criticism online, referring to recent attacks in the US.